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Outdoor Kitchens On Decks

Decks are a common gathering place as part of a home’s outdoor living space and outdoor kitchens on decks are becoming a trendy addition to outdoor living areas. Adding an outdoor kitchen design to a deck’s layout takes careful planning as an outdoor space can be limited but enhanced by this al fresco cooking amenity.  Whether it’s a raised, multilevel or platform deck, locating the outdoor kitchen on a structure like this has its advantages.

Stainless steel outdoor kitchens are a lightweight option that offers a variety of configuration options that can be as subtle or obvious as you like. They can be installed in smaller spaces as a single run along a wall of the home on a deck or take center stage as an outdoor kitchen island layout.

It can be configured to keep the cook near the guests, maintaining it as the central hub of activity. It is less expensive to run utilities to the outdoor kitchen since the deck is a short distance from the house, usually just out the back or side door.  And, the existing walls of the house can provide structure and protection to the outdoor kitchen plans—at no extra cost.

Let’s look at what you will need to consider first when planning a deck to include an outdoor kitchen:

  • Weight limit – if you have an existing deck, consulting with a builder or engineer to determine deck load capacity is critical. You will want to prevent any sagging with an aged deck and, therefore, determining what you will be adding onto the deck such as the outdoor kitchen, furniture and other amenities should be discussed. This goes for building a new deck, as well.
  • Utilities – Once appliances and amenities are determined, the placement of these lines – below the deck or along the support beams – should be decided for:
    • gas for the grill & burners
    • plumbing for a sink
    • electricity for a mini fridge, wine cooler, lighting, television or sound system

Outdoor kitchen cabinetry is manufactured in a variety of materials such wood species, including cypress, ipe, teak, bamboo and others, as well as polymers, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and stainless steel. Each material presents its own set of pros and cons with the benefits of stainless steel being the most resilient of these options.

A stainless steel kitchen is light enough to be placed on the deck and can as simple as a short run of cabinets and countertops with a built-in grill to mirror the homeowner’s indoor kitchen. Because it will separate the heat from the deck itself, stainless steel outdoor kitchens don’t require an insert like other materials.

Sustainable and recyclable, stainless steel is known for a variety of other positive traits, including:

  • low maintenance costs
  • long life
  • 100% recyclability
  • fire and corrosion resistance
  • product safety
  • minimal emissions
  • light-weight
  • maintaining its shape and integrity

When designing an outdoor kitchen to complement a deck, be sure to consider all the options when building the ultimate outdoor entertaining space. Remember, the outdoor kitchen design solution should be one that delivers aesthetics, performance and value.

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